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Ange - Caricatures CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.81 | 119 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The first time I listened to this album it was at my cousin's place on a remote day (I think it was in April, 1974). I was completely blown out with the incredible music I discovered. The comparison with Genesis was obvious of course, but not only.

The tortured mood, at times grotesque, of their lead vocalist Chistian Décamps is another of their constancy. Their lyrics are very complex, rude, sexually oriented and extremely vulgar, hence funny. They will even dare to publish them. To mark their distances with this aspect of the band, the record company will mention of the back of the sleeve (I translate) : "Only the authors of these words are responsible for their lyrics".

Ange is enormous in ... France (and well-known in Belgium, maybe in French Canda or Switzerland but I do not know about the later ones). If they didn't do an international career as they would have deserved, it is definitely because they voluntarily have chosen French for their lyrics. And not those ones you can easily understand. No, very complex ones.

The opener "Biafra 80 Introduction" is a pure Krimson song. Dark, heavy but melodious at the same time. This short intro sets the pace for a great prog rock album. It goes on the same mood with "Tels Quels". Almost jazzy for most of the time, KC is again not far away. Very complex structure with rather bizarre lyrics.

The next number, filled me with a bit of anger when I first listened to it that very ancient day. I said : "Damned, they copied "The Battle Of Epping Forest" ! Then my cousin showed me the sleeve. This song had been written way before "Epping"... So, it was a bit of reverse engeneering ...

The lyrics of this song are very rude. This will be another trademark of Ange. Very funny text, but totally irrespectuous. In this case they discuss about chastety, homosexuals, virgins. There will be an incredebly nice flute and piano passage : we are brought instantly in the "Trespass" mood without doubt. But what a nice moment. It turns into a great guitar break for the finale. You know like in "Firth" more than a year later... The best track of this very good album.

"Le Soir Du Diable" opens on a gentle acoustic guitar piece like in "Horizons" for instance. Good percussion work from Gérald Jelsch. It is not the best number of the album, but it is a nice transition number. Other bands also produced some shorter and transitional numbers on their albums, right ? The lyrics are absolutely insane. I wonder who's the craziest lyricist : Gabriel or Décamps ?

Some attempt to translation (difficult excercise, I can tell you even if my mother tongue is French) : "And I'm sucking my blood, Believing I'm sucking time, I'm like a vulture stuffing with his entrails". But all of their lyrics are like that. Absolutely disjointed.

"Caricatures" has a medieval architecture. But this is also an integrant part of the world of Ange. After a short recitation, this long number is almost all-instrumental. Tranquil at times, during some moments it will get as weird as Crimson (or Yes maybe) could be. Superb contrast. The same text will be sung at the end of the track, on a very subtle keys background. Another highlight.

We"ll go back to the start of the album with the short closing number "Biafra 80 Finale". Again this is totally Crimson inspired.

This first album of Ange is IMO a great symphonic moment. Should it be in English I am sure lots of people would praise this work as much as I do. If you are fan of the early Genesis (and there are a few of those ones on this site I guess) and the early Crimson sound (might also be some around the corner), this album is a must listen, really.

I will be generous with this release and add a little star to the four ones it surely deserves, just to do justice to Ange. To have produced such a brilliant album in 1972 is extraordinary.

Five stars. Bravo.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |


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